It’s astounding how much more efficient we can be because of the industrial equipment and pre-set kitchen at Whole Foods. When blanching time decreases from two hours to twenty minutes, and we arrive at a kitchen mostly set-up for us, we can prepare twice as much food in half the time. On Saturday, September 1st, we turned 135 lbs. of fresh produce into 59 lbs. of frozen food. This sauce and vegetables will be incorporated into meals that Bethesda Cares‘ cook makes to feed approximately 135 people (we estimate that 17.5lbs of our prepped frozen food is used to feed approximately 40 people). Thanks to Whole Foods Bethesda for their generous donations including the use of their kitchen and staff monthly! We loved the efficiency of working in a professional kitchen, where we can prepare a high volume of food with four people working for just three hours.
Not only has Whole Foods been generous in their collaboration with Farm to Freezer, but they also work to reduce their amount of food waste by donating to local charitable organizations. According to Tristan Coffin, the Northeast Region Green Mission Specialist at Whole Foods Market, of the extra food at Whole Foods that cannot be donated to local charities, 60% is composted, 25% is recycles, leaving only 15% that goes to a landfill. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, food waste makes up the largest component of solid waste in the U.S. landfills.
In fact, when looking at total-food wasted in our country, about 40% of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten. Food is wasted along every step of the food supply chain from farm to fork; crops are left in the field, produce is thrown away by processors because of blemishes, and households continuously dispose of uneaten products. The average American household will throw out between 14% and 25% of the food and beverages that they buy, costing the family anywhere from $1,365 to $2.275 each year. not only is this a loss to American families, but food rotting in landfills also contributes to global climate change. Jonathan Bloom, a journalist and blogger for Wasted Food,explains that methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more damaging than carbon dioxide, is mainly created by the food rotting in our country’s landfills.
Preserving the generous donation of Spiral Path’s unsold product was the impetus for launching Farm to Freezer. To date, we’ve prepared 860 lbs. of food for the freezer!
Thanks to our growing number of supporters and volunteers, we have linked a small family farm with feeding the hungry and composting our food waste so that nutrients go back to the soil.
Come join us to be part of the action! Sign-up on our Meet-up site to volunteer for prep days through the end of October. In the meantime, you can check out more ways you can personally reduce your waste, as well as volunteer with the Gleaning Network in our area.